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A Dozen Roses

Buying roses this Valentine’s Day? Here are a dozen and a half rose facts to go with them….

  1. Perfumes are made from rose oil, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils from the crushed petals of roses. The technique originated in Persia.
  2.  Tyler, Texas has been nicknamed the “Rose Capital of America” because about 20% of commercial rose bushes produced in the U.S. are grown there.
  3. While the sharp objects along a rose stem are commonly called “thorns”, they are actually prickles — outgrowths of the epidermis. Rose prickles are typically sickle-shaped hooks, which aid the rose in hanging onto other vegetation when growing over it.
  4. In the early 19th century, dried rose petals were believed to have mysterious powers. Napoleon gave his officers bags of rose petals to boil in white wine to cure lead poisoning from bullet wounds.
  5. Almonds, apples, quinces, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are all relatives of the rose.
  6. Roses are valued for their romantic symbolism but their blooms are also edible and taste like green apples and strawberries.
  7. George Washington bred roses at his home.
  8. A fossilized rose – over 35 million years old – was found in Florissant, Colorado.
  9. Rose hips contain more Vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable.
  10. On Valentine’s Day in 2008,  214 million roses were sold in the United States.  59% of them were red.
  11. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, rose prices typically jump 42% in February.
  12. The average price of a dozen long-stemmed red roses in 2008 was $80. In 1898, the price of a single rose from a NY florist was $3.75. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $93 per rose.
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